I do like the idea of playing table top games but have never really had any gaming friends so that’s never become a reality. With the iPad, however, I can still get a taste of that table top fun. Ascension is a deck building game that I’ve become very fond of and is a lot of fun for several reasons.
Firstly, it’s simple. As I’m new to card games I really don’t know anything about it, but the simplicity of the design, along with a handy tutorial, makes the learning curve very small. This, in turn, makes the game very accessible for newcomers, however, I believe it also has enough going for it to make it fun for more experienced gamers as well. Learning the basics is not enough, and it will take a while to fully learn the ins and outs of the various factions and which ones work best for your style of gaming.
This is the perfect kind of game to play when you have an extra ten minutes to kill, say in the Doctors waiting room and would rather not spend it staring at the posters about the warning signs for meningitis. Again. You can alter the length of the game to suit however much time you have to play. The game is particularly nice look at on the bigger iPad screen but offers the ability zoom in and see a pristine, easy to read card, making it perfectly playable on an iPhone as well.
Not only does it look good, it sounds good as well. I alternate between turning the music on and off. There’s nothing wrong with it, in fact I like it, but the in-game music consists of one track which loops rather obviously and gets a bit wearisome after a while. The sound effects are fantastic, and sound better without the background music. Bangs, hammering, and scratching sounds all give extra energy to the moves the player makes and the screams, growls, hisses and evil laughter of the monsters are very entertaining.
The one complain I have is that it can be a bit random. You can’t really develop any kind of strategy because the options of cards in front of you really depend on what the player has done before you. You can start to develop a strategy only to have the rug pulled out from under you. Also, playing with the expansion packs adds a lot of extra cards to the pile, meaning really good cards are less likely to appear unless you play with four players, which is time consuming, and more of a sitting-at-home-in-front-of-the-telly option. However this is a game that I find enjoyable, even when I am loosing I am usually having a good time and I’d rather have a good time loosing than a shallow, empty victory. That way leads to app deletion.